Malachi’s Hurdle over Adversity

Mariana Ardila and Lucas Giron

  Malachi Clarke is a senior who has attended Pembroke Pines Charter since kindergarten and comes from an African-American background, with both his parents being of Bahamian descent. Malachi Clarke has been an exceptional student and player at the school. Academically, Clarke maintains a 3.5 GPA and has taken advanced courses all throughout high school. For many years, the Pines Charter football program has experienced a drought in terms of making it to the playoffs. However, this year, Malachi has done what the Charter football program has been dreaming of since the 2011-12 season: winning a playoff game. 

  As a senior, Malachi has led the team to its first positive record in 3 years and was one of the main factors in making that happen. With 13 passing touchdowns, Clarke holds the school’s passing touchdown record and record for single-game passing yards with 411 yards.

   Additionally, his talent and leadership was recognized by the BCAA (Broward County Athletic Association), and he was selected as a ‘senior all star.’ At the end of the season, he was also selected as offensive MVP by the Jaguar team and coaching staff. His accomplishments don’t stop there: his performance has attracted plenty of interest at the collegiate level and he has attended visits to FAU, FIU, UM, UNLV, and Edward Waters. He says, “Being a high-performing black athlete is what’s expected and is a way to go to school for free and not put a lot of pressure on my parents to pay for school”. When it comes to Black History Month, Clarke’s heritage means a lot to him: “Black History Month gives recognition to the history of what black people have gone through and how we have overcome and changed throughout time against oppression.”

  Malachi has big hopes and aspirations to play at the collegiate level and he knows that it won’t be easy—but he is willing to put in the work to make it to the next level.